F1 returned from summer recess with a bang last weekend and Max Verstappen dominated proceedings in a seriously fast looking Red Bull to stretch clear at the top of the Drivers’ Championship. Will it be the same again this weekend?
We preview the Dutch Grand Prix below.
Red Bull and Verstappen flying
Red Bull were in full flight in Belgium last weekend, and it looked as though Max Verstappen’s car had sprouted wings over the summer break. Starting from 14th position on the grid after receiving a penalty, he made it look easy from start to finish picking off his rivals one by one, and when he finally reached the front of the pack, he just kept on extending his unassailable lead. It is absolutely no surprise then to see him the 8/15 favourite to clock another comfortable victory in the Netherlands.
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Leclerc and chasing pack can’t afford to lose more ground
Charles Leclerc had another luckless weekend and will be hoping that Ferrari can finally turn a corner and overcome some of their bad luck, or rather strategic ineptness, in the Netherlands. The Monaco native is dropping further behind his rival with every race that passes and the deficit is now just shy of 100 points. If he is to make a late challenge for the Championship, it will have to come sooner rather than later. He is second favourite in the market to take a surprise victory at 4/1 just ahead of Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz at 8/1. Max Verstappen’s Red bull teammate Sergio Perez comes next at 10/1, although one would have to assume that Verstappen will have to have crashed out if there is any chance of Christian Horner not giving Perez team orders to let Max pass the Mexican and record another Grand Prix victory.
Multiple World Champion and Formula One record breaker Lewis Hamilton called for an early taxi in last weekend’s Grand Prix after a collision with Fernando Alonso left damage under his car. The Mercedes man has had a tough year, potentially his toughest ever in the sport, and while we know he has the tenacity to fight back, it doesn’t look like he has the car beneath him to do so. The man from Stevenage comes next in the market at 16/1 but in all honesty it looks like Mercedes are ready to call it a day for the season and look ahead to next year.
Last weekend’s Grand Prix Belgium could have been anyone’s race, with not one driver starting in the grid position they actually qualified on. However, it wasn’t to be and actually ended as one of the most routine victories for Red Bull we have seen in quite some time. The one take away from that? It looks as though Red Bull have taken their car to another level over the summer break and the only value in the race looks to be the 14/5 available on Max Verstappen recording a start on pole position, the fastest lap in the race, and winning the Grand Prix.
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